watering plants and finding wisdom

This will not come as a surprise to those of you who know Seth and me. Plants are an endangered species at our home, whether inside or outside. The past few summers, my dad generously helped us to landscape our front bed – meaning, we picked out a few “hearty” plants and bushes at Lowe’s, and I watched as he planted them, and I listened to his advice about watering them daily (twice in the heat of summer), fertilizing them, mulching them. And I have tried. Promise, Dad! We even bought a lawn sprinkler this year to water the little planties for 30 minutes at a time (or two hours once when I forgot to turn it off. Hello, high water bill).

But after months of diligent watering, we unintentionally took a few weeks “off.” We went on vacation, and thankfully it rained, and then I stayed on vacation from watering our plants. And then a week or two later, I noticed that they looked a bit wilty. Like this photo:

By the time I noticed, I scrambled to find the hose and began watering like mad, enlisting my two favorite little gardeners to come with me. I watered them until the soil looked saturated, hoping against hope to somehow make up for the lost watering time with some extra TLC that could be retroactive.

And that’s when it hit me. That what I was trying to do with my garden is what I often do with pursuing wisdom. I go a long time without nurturing my relationship with God in prayer, Bible study, and community – and then when the need for wisdom arises, I try to take a crash course in it overnight. It rarely works like that. Wisdom is the fruit of a walk with Christ. Just as in watering my plants, it’s easier for me to know when my heart has not been “watered” regularly than if it has been. If I’m daily watering my plants, I won’t notice much growth – it’s slow, steady, constant. However, if I miss a few days in the sweltering heat of the summer, then it will be almost immediately obvious.

What a picture for me of my need to daily seek God’s face, to ask him to reveal my pride that hinders me from obtaining wisdom, and come to prayer, His Word, and church to water my thirsty heart.

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